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C 137 E/158 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.


will refuse to connect these appliances to the supply network, because the German assembly instructions
have not been met. It claims that differentiation on a national basis is necessary on the grounds of different
types of gas and differing gas pressures in Europe.

1. Can this case be reconciled with the EC Gas Appliances Directive?

2. Even though the appliances in question bear a CE number, the national gas supplier in Germany
refuses to connect them. How does the Commission explain this situation?

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(5 December 2002)

Article 2(2) of the Directive (1) permits the use of different types of gas and corresponding supply pressures
in the different Member States.

This implies that putting into service of an appliance complying with the essential requirements of the
Directive should take into account the gas type and supply pressure available at the place of installation.

However, more investigation is needed to assess whether the German assembly instructions referred to
constitute an infringement. For instance, there is no direct correlation between gas type and Member State,
as some gas types are available in more than one Member State and, within one Member State, there can
be more than one gas types available, depending on the respective region. Furthermore, it seems that the
current state of the art, gives the possibility of appliances adjustable for different gas types or gas pressures,
and thus, suitable for being put into service in more Member States or regions.

An inquiry concerning the Member State in question is currently under way, with the aim to have all the
necessary information on the issue. In case, following this inquiry, the Commission finds that there is an
infringement to Directive 90/396/EEC, it will not hesitate to take the appropriate measures in accordance
with the procedure laid down by Article 226 of the EC Treaty, and to inform the Honourable Member.

(1) Council Directive 90/396/EEC of 29 June 1990 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to
appliances burning gaseous fuels, OJ L 196, 26.7.1990 as amended by council Directive 93/68/EEC of 22 July
1993, OJ L 220, 30.8.1993.

(2003/C 137 E/181) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3118/02

by Marie-Thérèse Hermange (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(30 October 2002)

Subject: European Union funding in the water sector

At the World Summit on sustainable development in Johannesburg, which closed on 4 September 2002,
the Commission press release dated 3 September stressed that the EU is already investing EUR 1,4 billion
per year in scientific cooperation and development aid in the water sector (press release IP/02/1265).

Can the Commission answer the following:

 Under what Community funding instruments has this EUR 1,4 billion investment been made available?

 What is the annual breakdown of this investment between the various European funding programmes

 If so, what are the respective annual amounts concerned?

 What water projects, by country, have been funded by the EU within the framework of each of these
12.6.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/159

At the Johannesburg Summit a ‘European water initiative’ was adopted. How does the Commission intend
to develop and implement this initiative? Is the Commission in a position to say whether additional
European funding will be made available over and above what has already been invested, and if so, under
which funding programmes and for which types of project?

Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(25 November 2002)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the reply it gave to Oral Question H 696/02
during question time at Parliament’s October 2002 session (1) and adds the following elements of reply to
the specific questions raised:

 The figure of EUR 1,4 billion is an average of Union (Community and Member States) aid assistance in
the field of water. The figure is based on information received from Member States about allocations
for 2002, completed by information from Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/
Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) reports.

 For the Commission EUR 135 million are allocated to water in 2002 from the Community Budget and
the European Development Fund (EDF). The calculation does not include water-related activities
included under other sectoral headings, such as health, environment, rural and urban development,
as well as research programmes.

 An inventory is currently being carried out in the framework of the Union Water Initiative, which will
result in a more detailed presentation of Community and Member States’ bilateral projects in the water

(1) Written reply 22.10.2002.

(2003/C 137 E/182) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3124/02

by Erik Meijer (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(30 October 2002)

Subject: Lack of standardisation of batteries and adapters for the supply of electric power for portable

A report in the Netherlands edition of the free daily newspaper ‘Metro’ on Monday 21 October 2002
comments that people can now take with them on journeys all of the equipment which at one time could
only be used at home, such as phones, digital video cameras, computers and printers, and that this weighs
no more than the old portable typewriters. However, the report also points out that each of these types of
equipment has its own combination of batteries and adapters for charging and for converting power from
the grid, and that this means that it is necessary to also carry a large number of relatively heavy devices in
order to operate such electrical equipment on journeys.

The author, Jack Nouws, expresses his surprise at the fact that standardisation has not yet been carried out
at EU level, asking how much money could be saved by laying down legal requirements for all mobile
phones to have the same type of adapter socket and for this same adapter socket also to be used for all
portable equipment, so that one charger is sufficient for all makes of equipment. He comments that
Members of the European Parliament travel a great deal, not just between Brussels and Strasbourg, and that
it is surprising that a proposal has not long since been put forward by a zealous official.

Aware of this,

1. Why, when the market for portable electrical equipment began to take off in the 1980s, was
standardisation of charging devices not carried out, not even between the different types and makes of
mobile phone?

2. What are the additional annual costs borne by individual consumers, organisations and companies in
the EU Member States for replacing, continuing to use simultaneously and carrying different devices
for charging and for converting electric power?